WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 2 of Tower of God, “Three Four-Hundredths,” streaming now on Crunchyroll.
In Tower of God‘s thoroughly absorbing premiere, protagonist Bam’s unorthodox entry to the Tower threw him headfirst into two deadly tests, spearheaded by its caretaker, the bunny-eared Headon. After surviving the first one — and gaining a legendary weapon, to boot — Bam was immediately whisked into a second: a cut-throat battle royale. In the anime’s second episode, “Three Four-Hundreths,” this deathmatch actually results in a positive result for our meek hero, as he acquires two powerful allies.
These two new acquaintances are the blue-haired, Khun and the crocodile-shaped, Rak Wraithraiser (both in name and nature). Both are part of the 399 Regulars — with Bam being, as far as we know, the sole Irregular of the group — hoping to ascend the Tower from the second floor. Rak is your standard, hit-first-ask-questions-later barbarian, while the inquisitive Khun is more rogueish: admitting to Bam that he shows little regard for the “higher up’s” rules about culling the numbers of Regulars climbing the Tower by half. Instead, after using his incredible acrobatics and agility to dodge Rak’s lumbering attempts to kill Khun and Bam, he pulls the confused Irregular to safety and tells him that he’s more interested in forming alliances than murdering his competition.
Internally, he makes no secret to us, the audience, about his interest in Bam — or, more specifically, his Black March, a unique weapon of incredible power illegally gifted to him by Yuri, a Princess of Jahad. He tries to pry into his potential partner’s past but Bam, in all honesty, can’t remember anything beyond his time with Rachel outside of the Tower. “She’s your rule,” Khun understands, before offering his hand to Bam in honor of their newfound agreement.
Rak is added to their newly-formed party through a less… consenting method. As the slaughter-fest ends, the survivors are told they have to form a group of three within five minutes or fail to progress. The Wraithraiser — who just happens to be closest to Khun and Bam — would prefer to keep hunting his “prey” than fight alongside them. Bam attempts to run the clock down by engaging him in a stalemate: offering to fight him only to drop his sword and refuse, upon Rak’s demands, to pick it back up. With only seconds remaining, the two small humans jump the huge, reptilian man to claim him as their third team member by the deadline.
But Khun and Rak aren’t the only two Tower-dwellers that Bam befriends in this episode. Test Administrator, Lero-Ro also takes a keen interest in him. Aboard Evankhell’s Mothership, the surviving teams are subjected to an extra admittance test by Lero as their number is still a few too many. As a Ranker (someone who has reached the Tower’s highest floors), Lero has command over Shinsu/Shinsoo, a divine but dangerous substance that fills the Tower in different forms. He uses it to create a wall of water between himself and the Regulars and instructs them to find a way through it, only to notice that Bam is completely unaffected by it.
Amused and intrigued, Lero allows Bam to question him as a reward while they wait for the others to penetrate the watery field. He gives Bam (and any veiwers unfamiliar with the source material) valuable information on the Tower’s structure and the difference between Regulars and Irregulars. Through Lero’s explanations, Bam realizes that he and Rachel are the only two people to have come into the Tower from the outside world, prompting him to ask, innocently, if Irregulars are “bad people.” Lero tells him no, but before he’s cut off before he reveals what makes them so special.
Upon learning that Bam is allied with Rak and Khun, Lero also — slyly — gives Bam some bonus, parting advice as both of them finally pass through his Shinsu wall: “Don’t get too close.” He’s specifically talking about Khun, whose mysterious briefcase is almost rejected by the wall entirely. The unknown, Shinsu-repelling item in his possession coupled with Khun’s unknown motives might indeed make him more of a foe than a friend down the line. But, then again, what reason does the naive Bam have to trust the powerful Ranker?
Bam makes friends out of enemies in Tower of God's second episode — but how trustworthy are his newfound allies?